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Last Updated: Tuesday, 14 November 2006, 11:54 GMT
CAR hails French pledge on rebels

The Central African Republic (CAR) government says it is satisfied after France promised to help it against rebels, who have made recent advances.

A French spokesman said it would provide logistics and intelligence to government forces.

A rebel spokesman, however, said France was not helping the CAR people, merely President Francois Bozize, who seized power in a 2003 coup.

The rebels have seized two towns during a two-week long offensive.

They are reported to be near the mining town of Bria, some 600 kilometres (375 miles) north-east of the capital, Bangui.

But the Union of Democratic Forces for Unity (UFDR) rebels say they suspended their military activities, to give Mr Bozize time to invite them to talks on power-sharing.

Egotistic interests

"We want to sit down at a table to discuss the nation's problems," UFDR leader Michel Djotodia told Reuters news agency.

But government spokesman Cyriaque Gonda said the rebels were merely seeking "personal, egotistical interests".

The towns of Ouadda-Djalle and Birao are near eastern Chad and Sudan's western Darfur region which have been plagued by violence and insecurity in recent years.

The CAR government says the rebels are operating from Darfur with the support of the Sudanese authorities.

It had earlier requested military help from former colonial power France to put down the rebellion.

The UFDR accused Mr Bozize, who won elections last year, of mismanagement and corruption.

The BBC's Joseph Benamse in the CAR capital, Bangui, says some of the rebels fought alongside Mr Bozize when he ousted Ange-Felix Patasse from power three years ago.

But they fell out with him when they were not given the pay they were promised.

CAR rebels seize town near Chad
30 Oct 06 |  Africa
Country profile: Central African Republic
18 Aug 05 |  Country profiles

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